It’s not too early to start talking about next season.
The 2018 Gavitt Games matchups were revealed by CBS Sports/FanRag Sports college hoops insider Jon Rothstein on late Monday night. The matchups go as followed:
- Villanova Wildcats vs. Michigan
- Xavier Musketeers vs. Wisconsin
- Creighton Bluejays vs. Ohio State
- Seton Hall Pirates vs. Nebraska
- St. John’s Red Storm vs. Rutgers
- Georgetown Hoyas vs. Illinois
- Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Indiana
- DePaul Blue Demons vs. Penn State
Of the matchups, the four home ones for the Big East are Michigan-Nova, Wisconsin-Xavier, OSU-Creighton and PSU-DePaul. The four away ones, at the Big Ten sites, are Seton Hall-Nebraska, St. John’s-Rutgers, Georgetown-Illinois and Marquette-Indiana.
Jumping off the page here, obviously, is the scheduled National Championship rematch between Michigan and Villanova. Both teams are expected to look extremely different from how they did back in April, when ‘Nova cut down the nets in San Antonio. The Wolverines will still be out for retribution, but will have their work cut out for them in Philly.
Elsewhere, we get the third matchup between Wisconsin and Xavier in the last couple years. Three seasons ago, the Badgers of course knocked Xavier out of the NCAA Tournament. The Musketeers returned the favor last year in the Gavitt Games, when they took a win from UW in Wisconsin. Now, the rubber match will go down in Cincinnati this coming season.
There’ll be some slight humor in Creighton-Ohio State. The matchup, set to take place in Omaha, pits the Bluejays against the Buckeyes and former Butler head coach, Chris Holtmann. Of course, you may remember that Greg McDermott was reportedly discussing the vacant Buckeye job before they went and hired Holtmann last summer.
Marquette-Indiana will be a pretty fascinating matchup. The Golden Eagles figure to be one of the top teams in the Big East and will have a slew of talent on board with Markus Howard, Sam Hauser and Sam’s brother Joey, an incoming freshman. And speaking of incoming freshmen, Romeo Langford will be on the floor for the Hoosiers, as the celebrated, 5-star point guard is the top of the crop of Archie Miller’s 2018 recruiting class.
Georgetown-Illinois could prove to be a bit of an intriguing matchup as well. While the Hoyas missed the NCAA Tournament again last year, Patrick Ewing already looks like a very good coach, and will be bringing a much more talented Hoya team into the 2018-19 season. The Illini, meanwhile, also missed the Tournament, but Brad Underwood will have Ayo Dosunmu aboard this coming year, so he’ll likely be one to watch in that game come this fall.
All told, this is probably the best slate in recent years, which might be saying something as it pertains to the Gavitt Games. But needless to say, we’re already pretty excited. And hoping for no friggin tie this year. Please.